Something that I am not able to address too often on the blog is my adoration for travelling, and this is mainly due to two reasons: a; because I don’t do it enough, and b; because I can’t afford to do it enough. However I was recently incredibly fortunate to be taken by my boyfriend on a trip to Bali as his 21st birthday present from his parents, an opportunity I absolute could not refuse. So over the next few weeks I will be indulgently reliving my adventures and taking you along with me. I hope you enjoy…
When planning our trip we decided to separate into two halves, the first being in the cultural capital of Bali – Ubud. Located in the uplands of Bali, situated in a landscape of rice fields, it is an absolutely stunning location. For accommodation, we opted for AirBnB in order for a more ‘authentic’ Balinese experience. Our first stop was a traditional family house in Mas Village, an art village just outside Ubud, in which we stayed in their guest home. Their home was picturesque and ornate; we were served breakfast on our verandah, where we could observe the household go on with their daily lives. The courtyard was filled with their pet birds in cages, which made rather a pleasant wake up call in the morning.
On our first full day in Ubud, having arrived late in the evening on our first day, we decided to take advantage of the free shuttle provided by our hosts and head in to central Ubud. Our first stop was the market, where we did a lot of damage, and eventually honed our bartering skills. Things can get a little overwhelming in the market, so its important to stay confident in how much you want to pay and not be guilt-tripped into buying something you don’t want (this may have happened to me). Having said that, we definitely found some gems. After our hectic shopping experience we headed to Ubud Palace, which is a rather small and tourist-filled temple on the main road in Ubud, but is definitely worth looking at.
One thing that you may be able to tell that I adored about Bali were its doors – they are so intricately and beautifully decorative. Our next stop was the Saraswati Temple, which was definitely one of my absolute favourites. The temple is situated behind a lotus pond, which was breathtaking. We made the most of the view by stopping for a drink in Cafe Lotus, which sits just on the edge of the pond.
By this point we had worked up an appetite, so we headed to one of the restaurants on the main road. We opted to sit cross legged and try out some delicious Indonesian cuisine – Mahi Mahi and Beef Rendang. And cocktails, because why not.
We were recommended by our driver to go on a walk through the rice fields and to also stop by the second oldest temple in Bali, Gulung Lebah. This was an amazing experience as it was far less hectic than Ubud Palace, and we were shown around by a guide who explained to us the history of the temple. We also were excited to wear our newly purchased sarongs from the market! The walk which is just behind the temple was really stunning, albeit quite hard due to the amount of steps and hills involved.
We headed back to the house after that hard walk to get ready to go out for dinner. We went to a restaurant called Cafe des Artistes, which was on one of the quieter side streets off the main road in Ubud. I went for a beef curry which was really tasty, but I wouldn’t say that this was our favourite restaurant in Ubud – we ended up going somewhere down the street for dessert where I had my first deep fried banana, yum.
So that concludes day 1 of Bali. I hope you enjoyed reliving our adventure, and are looking forward to many more posts to come! Have you ever been to Bali? What’s the next place on your travel bucket list?